In terms of driveability, there’s not a single area where the Kia falls down. The 114hp 1.7-litre engine provides decent acceleration, and the steering, too, while not being class-leading, is satisfactory.

The ride is good, making the car comfortable to drive for long distances, and there’s a nice balance between that and the handling. Body roll, meanwhile, isn’t excessive. And, putting aside the problem with the noisy sunroof seal, refinement also earns a thumbs up.

Costs, meanwhile, are somewhat surprising. While I was expecting a Kia to have a P11D and RVs that indicated a brand pitched below volume rivals, KwikCarcost reveals that our model’s headline 48.6ppm costs figure is a tad below the equivalent Nissan Qashqai’s 48.8ppm and about 2ppm cheaper than Ford‘s Kuga, and that factors such as P11D and RVs are comparable with both the Qashqai and Peugeot‘s 3008 (£20,425 vs £19,525 and £20,190 plus 35.7% vs 36.6% and 31.3%).

Perhaps the Kia, with costs and quality (if the car’s driveability is anything to go by) to rival the volume players really is the “breakthrough” model the company is hoping it will be.

Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 2
Mileage 7298
Claimed combined
Our average
P11D price £20,300
Model price range £17,015-£25,745
CO2 (tax) 135g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £64/£129
Engine size/power 1685cc/114PS
Top speed/0-60mph 107mph/11.9secs
Why we’re running it Can it genuinely take
on Nissan’s Qashqai?
Positive Driveability, cost
per mile figure
Negative Wind noise coming
from sunroof